As you may know, I had quadruple bypass surgery on 18 January; that was necessary after I failed my cardiac catheterization test back on the 7th. I was discharged from the hospital on the 23rd. In this post, I’ll try and recap how my first week at home has been going.
Prior to this, and not counting when I was born, the only time I had ever spent a night in the hospital was back in 1978 when I had my tonsils removed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center at the ripe old age of 28. This was, by far and away, the most intense health experience of my entire life. I’d certainly like to express my appreciation to the cardiac staff and the staff at 3 West at Winchester Medical Center. In a very short period of time, they got me ready for my return home. And they did a great job making sure that I knew what I could do and could not do once I left there. My restrictions are in two categories: no driving until after I see the surgeon for my follow-up appointment on 16 February and no lifting of anything heavier than a gallon of milk.
My mom and sister came down from Michigan to help out this past week, arriving on Saturday. The two families that were taking care of my 12 year old twins each brought them back to the house Saturday evening. And, Sunday morning, my oldest son drove back from Pennsylvania to pick me up at the hospital and drive me home.
Upon my arrival Sunday afternoon, I had to try everything: walking without a walker, walking up and down stairs and walking around without a bunch of tubes hanging out of my body. This was important because this house is a split level and: my bedroom is in the top level and my home office is in the basement. Just to get from the kitchen to a bathroom requires the use of stairs. By 8:30, though, I was tired and headed to bed.
That’s where I had to make the first small adjustment. I’ve been sleeping on my back because I’m a bit worried about sleeping on my side at this point. But I discovered that the incision on my chest is a bit hypersensitive to the sheet and blanket touching. Solution – sleep with my elbows bent and my hands at my shoulders to keep it elevated.
Now, for the last 20-30 years, I’ve averaged about 5 hours sleep each night. Going to bed at 8:30, I struggled to keep going back to sleep once I woke up at 2am. By 4 I got up and took a shower. This was heaven. My first shower in a week! Absolute heaven. A great way to start the day!
Each day since Monday has been routine. I wake up early, shower, eat a light breakfast, and go down to my home office by 7:30am. After getting in a full day, I’ve talked my twins through the process of fixing dinner. That’s been interesting because we’ve not had dinners like anything that’s ever been served in this house. I had tweeted that my mom and sister bought me my first ever healthy heart cookbooks (aff. links: Betty Crocker Healthy Heart Cookbook (Betty Crocker Books) and The EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook: 150 Delicious Recipes for Joyful, Heart-Smart Eating (EatingWell Books)) and we’ve been using recipes from those. But, I still get tired early and go to bed early just to get the rest I want.
I feel as good as I expected to be feeling at this point; I am, after all, an insufferable optimist. When I left the hospital, I was given a prescription for some serious pain medication; so far, I’ve not had to take even one of them. Today, my sister drove and took me out shopping. We were out for over 3 hours and after a bit of rest, I now feel fine.